Jun 18, 2008

Ann Tancio



We wrestle with Sumo’s spacious gaming bag.
Mankind can’t defy the laws of physics, but it sure can eat. Ignoring competitive eaters (professional bulimics, blast ’em!), sumos stand as the most impressive gluttons on the planet, gorging upwards of 8,000 calories a day to add mass to their orbit-able frames. Each pound of pastry or kilo of clams means more gravity when they grapple an opponent; each hamburger earns a better upper hand.


With the protective shipping duffel half-on, the inner foam arrives vacuum-sealed, and with a brainy texture.

In furniture form, what does this obese tradition produce? Thankfully, more comfort than what playing games atop a half-ton human in a silk thong would feel like, we think. In short, the SumoSac is stout, spacious centerpiece for your gaming area. For the range of gaming chairs and accouterments that scatter the market, its size is an asset for multiplayer gaming, along with durability and comfort that’ll woo anyone wandering through your living room to plop down.

Let’s make sure we’re hammering this point: the SumoSac is big. Like, substantially large. Rotund. Hulk-certified. A family of raccoons could scamp its way inside the inner foam, build a den within, and raise three generations of rabid young all without you being aware. The 5′ by 2′ model we were sent easily seats three, and single sitters can nearly swim in the bag. Dimensions vary depending on how you’ve got it situated, as the outer cover’s seams shape the inner material.


A closer look at the multi-colored shredded furniture foam that serves as the SumoSac’s bedding.

Speaking of, the SumoSac’s innards aren’t the pellet-sized particles you might’ve found in older bean bags, but shredded furniture foam. If you took a bundle of couch cushions and put them through a shredder, it’d look something like this. The material seems recycled, but gives ample comfort in bulk, thin and asymmetrical enough to adapt to a body’s shape. And the stuff is dense enough so that average bodies don’t sink too deeply into the suede pod.

The SumoSac’s setup process is worth mention. The bag arrives vacuum-sealed in a cloth duffel, which is torn to expose the fleshy fabric container that holds the foam. The product’s instructions tell to break up the tightly-packed foam from the outside, and this is actually a fun process (for two people) for the effort it requires. Beating up the bag or pulling on bunches of foam to loosen it takes about 10 minutes; from here, leaving the Sumo in a warm, open area for up to 24 hours helps it expand further. Finally, the colored microsuede cover is applied and zipped up.


After you’ve beat up the foam and let it expand, the fabric foam coat should look like this.

It takes some elbow grease, but we’d bet it beats trying to ship a 55-pound bag the size of a kiddie pool. In use, the Sumo’s consistently comfortable — soft, but firm enough to keep you elevated. The only shortcoming of its design, from our use, was the inconsistency of how packed the material was inside. Leaving the Sumo in a set position for a few days (and laying in roughly the same place) seemed to deaden the sitting area, packing foam tightly at the circumference enough to give it a solid shape. Fluffing or flipping the Sumo a few times was an easy solution to this, but there still are situations where the uneven distribution of the foam leaves some empty flaps of suede in your way.


With the cover applied, the SumoSac takes up a bit less space.

Similarly, the rugged microsuede cover is a durable, solid fabric that won’t wear down, but we’d personally prefer a tigher, lighter nylon cover. Hair or debris from the floor doesn’t cling to the suede, and it’s a snap to stick in the washer if you spill your Mountain Dew all over it. The texture comes down to personal preference, really — the Sumo’s likely to last, but the suede doesn’t allow as flexible of a shape.

Critiquing comfort is a new concept for GWN, but we can recommend the SumoSac as a properly priced ($180-$230, depending on size, shipping included), comfy pod that should sit well with your gaming seating needs, especially as a multiplayer-friendly chair.


A comfortable working environment? Yes.

The SumoSac is available in 4, 5, and 6ft models and four different colors. Visit for more information

Massive; comfortable and flexible gaming furniture; washable, durable microsuede cover; easily seats two or more.

Microsuede’s rugged texture won’t suit everyone; foam solidify some if you don’t ‘fluff’ the bag; you might need a pillow for neck support.

Final verdict
A flexible, spacious solution to comfortable gaming that’s best when shared with a second player.

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